Friday, February 13, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 2.13.09: JasonJasonJason Edition...

San Jose’s Councilmembers Sam Liccardo, Rose Herrera, and Ash Kalra have banded together to propose a way of covering Police costs downtown while not causing bars and clubs to leave downtown. (Although, that might make the Police Chief a little happier if the clubs left downtown...) San Jose Downtown Association’s Deputy Director (and powerbroker) Blage Zelalich, said “We advocate a model that will keep downtown safe, but encourage a thriving and eclectic nightlife." The Police Chief didn't respond by saying, "We plan on arresting everyone downtown no matter what..."

The bad news keeps on coming for the Palo Alto Utilities Department. Earlier this week Federal officials from the Department of Transportation raided their headquarters and took out 7 boxes of stuff looking for forged documents? fraudulent hiring practices? who knows...Whatever it was in those boxes, the Feds are certainly looking for items above and beyond an internal investigation that happened last year.

San Jose Revealed asked readers to identify San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Pat Dando’s policy wins and today updates us on the results – according to Revealed it’s not a happy track record. Which mirrors what the Metro wrote weeks ago... Revealed and the Metro, friends at last...

Largely because of the taxes it brings in, every city would seemingly like to have a (bland) upscale Santana Row-like development in their community. But Mountain View won’t be getting their own Santana Row if developer Fred Thoits has anything to say about it. According to Thoits (talking about Mountain View's wishes), "If [Santana Row] is their vision we just can board up the stores and look at vacant property with no revenue and no sales tax." He sounds angry.

The Los Altos School District Board voted against placing a parcel tax on a upcoming ballot. Survey consultant (pollster) Connell Lindh warned the District would need to raise funds and that the spring and winter breaks would cause two weeks of lost campaign time. The proposed $168/parcel was deemed too risky to ask of District voters. The move means the District will be cutting programs and services and will likely be laying off employees. I guess the recession is even hitting Los Altos...

Local businesses stand to benefit from D.C.’s stimulus package with a push towards green technology and internet infrastructure. Cisco’s Director of Technology, Jeff Campbell, said "It was all about physical infrastructure in the past...” Julie Blunden with San Jose’s SunPower added the infusion of funding will help expand manufacturing and accelerate growth.

From the Fed's stimulus deal to the State's budget deal:

Silicon Valley Leadership Group (cycling) CEO Carl Guardino is delighted with the tax breaks offered to the high tech industry in the State deal and said, "This potentially is a huge win..." (If $.12/gallon tax increase is a huge win, we'd hate to see a huge loss...) But the word "potentially" in Guardino's quote may prove important. The deal isn't done yet and Jon Coupal, the anti-tax guru from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said, "I'll believe it when I see it...I would be stunned to see Republican votes sufficient to pass this thing."

Hope you weren’t in need of an emergency room Thursday. Valley Medical Center, one of Santa Clara County’s three trauma centers and the busiest in the Valley, was closed most of Thursday after an unidentified young man arrived bringing with him a noxious odor. Regional and O’Connor (and patients) apparently bore the brunt of the closure. VMC is open today.

Deputy DA Ben Fields gets to keep his job while he tries to clear his name from the charges that he made stuff up while prosecuting cases. Good thing he gets to keep his day job, since the County’s legal top dog, Ann Ravel has “…declined to support [Field's defense attorney Allen Ruby’s] request for additional funds...” Ruby, having already received $50,000, asked for an additional $250,000 in (non-existent) County funds to appeal the charges.

Santa Clara Police Officers approached a man reportedly planning on shooting a cyclist. When he ignored Officers and pointed his gun at them -- the Officers shot him. Names have been withheld for both the Officers and the other guy who is in the hospital in critical condition. SCPD wants you to call the Santa Clara Police Department Investigations Division with information, 408-615-4800.

The Morgan Hill Unified School District is in a state of “near fiscal disaster.” This year, they will avoid mid-year lay-offs. Next year lay-offs are a given. Deputy Superintendent Bonnie Tognazzini is looking to her higher power for help and says, "We are just praying that the State gives us flexibility…We are trying to survive." There is a 100% chance that prayer will not be answered...

Gilroy is losing a 6 decade business and 26 jobs when Gilroy Pontiac Buick GMC closes its doors. Neighboring auto dealers all said “we’re fine” when asked if they were also getting ready to shutter the doors. What about the $13+ billion GMC received in bailout money? “…didn't trickle down to us. It stayed up there somewhere, but I don't know where it went. They forgot about the little people..." according to Joe Lopez, former Pontiac General Manager.

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